WE ARE, to our regret, able to print only a few of the letters which we receive in support of our criticism of the Army Chaplains’ department. Since first we referred to the matter several months ago we have received every week letters, sorrowful or indignant, which tell of the incapacity for army work of many chaplains appointed since the beginning of the war; of the rejection of priests qualified, experienced and commended; of things said and done which are clean contrary to the doctrine and discipline of the Church; of the delay, vacillation and general incompetence of the departmental office work. There would seem to be but one opinion among Churchmen, whether in the Army or in civil life, who really know the state of affairs, and that opinion is that the Department is scandalously inefficient. Unfortunately, scandals which affect the welfare of the Church are too often suffered to continue. In other departments an official who is clearly inadequate to the proper discharge of his task is liable to be suspended. In the Church that is not the case, as some dioceses and innumerable parishes know to their cost. The steady pressure of public opinion may in time have its effect, though indifference to public opinion is almost as often a mark of the inefficient man as of the strong. Meanwhile the effects of the present administration become increasingly clear. It can hardly content even the promoters of Protestantism in the Army that as a direct consequence of their policy there should be a steady stream of secessions to Rome.
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